By Thomas Blade
Mary Simon has been sworn in as the first-ever indigenous Governor General of Canada.
Simon — an Inuk from Kuujjuaq in northeastern Quebec — was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this month.
She is now Queen Elizabeth II's representative in the commonwealth country and the 30th person to hold the position. "I have heard from Canadians who describe a renewed sense of possibility for our country and hope that I can bring people together," she said in her address.
"Every day, inside small community halls, school gyms, Royal Canadian Legions, places of worship, and in thousands of community service organisations, there are ordinary Canadians doing extraordinary things. As governor general I will never lose sight of this — that our selflessness is one of our great strengths as a nation. I pledge to be there for all Canadians."
The swearing-in ceremony was, for the first time, conducted in both English and Inuktitut - one of the most widely spoken First Nation languages in Canada.
The Prime Minister was full of praise for his new Governor General saying "You remind us that true leadership is not measured in the honours or distinction stacked up behind someone's name – although today, you take on yet another title among many.”
"In this moment of unprecedented change – of rebuilding from the pandemic, of fighting the climate crisis, of walking forward on the path of reconciliation – we need your vision of a stronger Canada for everyone."